Gen Con Announces Record Breaking Numbers For 2019
Gen Con, the largest and longest-running tabletop gaming convention in North America, announced a year of continued growth in attendance, exhibiting companies, and ticketed events at its 2019 convention in Indianapolis, IN held this past Thursday – Sunday.
In a statement from event organizers, the annual four-day event, which has more than doubled in size since moving to Indianapolis in 2003, sold more 4-Day and Sunday badges than in any prior year, and featured nearly 70,000 unique attendees, a record-breaking 538 exhibiting companies, and an all-time-high19,600 ticketed events. In 2019, Gen Con also grew its livestreaming program, increased the number of electronically ticketed events, and expanded its reach with Pop-Up Gen Con, a pilot program that activated satellite events in more than 40 game stores across the U.S. concurrently with the main convention in Indianapolis.
In the pilot year of Pop-Up Gen Con, over 1,300 gaming fans flocked to participating game stores to play demo copies of new games released at Gen Con and gather with their local gaming community. Many participating stores featured live streamed video from Gen Con in Indianapolis, and some enhanced the in-store experience with other events and promotions. The program plans to expand in the future to include additional stores nationally and internationally.
Gen Con President David Hoppe said: “Each year we come to Indianapolis for Gen Con, the show feels bigger and better than the one before, and this year was no exception. We are humbled by the support and enthusiasm of the tabletop gaming community, and we’re thrilled to see the continued growth of this hobby that we and our attendees love. Live streaming and other digital technologies have contributed impactfully to this growth, and we’re excited to connect with new audiences in new ways as we carry our 52-year legacy of tabletop gaming tradition into the future.”
In a statement, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said: “For residents and visitors alike, Gen Con provides a one-of-a-kind experience that lives up to its moniker as the Best Four Days in Gaming. Each year, Gen Con sets records and expands its impact here in Indianapolis, providing attendees a quality convention experience, as well as connectivity to our city’s world-class restaurants, hotels, entertainment, and amenities — resulting in a local economic impact of nearly $70 million. This year, Gen Con is redoubling its focus on sustainability, with 100% of show signage printed on recycled materials and the use of reusable concession cups. We are proud to have Gen Con as a signature Indianapolis convention and look forward to many more winning years to come.”
In response to Mayor Hogsett’s response to sustainability, organizers explained by saying that this year’s convention took several measures to cut down on waste and reduce the ecological impact of The Best Four Days in Gaming. In addition to recyclable show signage, 27,000 sq. ft. of vinyl table coverings were replaced by linens and recyclable paper. Gen Con’s partnership with r.Cup, a reusable cup service, replaced disposable cups in all concession stands with durable reusable cups, resulting in the prevention of 24,000 cups ending up in a landfill this year.
Gen Con 2019 attendees did more than just game. Attendees helped to raise over $35,000 for the convention’s 2019 Charity Partners, Game To Grow, an organization that provides therapeutic and educational gaming groups for those with a variety of cognitive and mental health issues, and Special Olympics Indiana. Gen Con has raised over $335,000 for charity since 2003. In a first partnership with Make-A-Wish®, Gen Con brought 13-year-old Drake Kiderlen of Troy, MO (seen above rolling the Opening Ceremony Dice), who is battling a pineal parenchymal tumor, on an all-expenses-paid trip with members of his family to Gen Con 2019, where his wish of attending the convention, playing Dungeons & Dragons, and learning about new board games was granted.
Gen Con returns to Indianapolis July 30-August 2, 2020.